“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
In a piece on Curing Depression with Spirituality by Stephen Knapp, which is definitely worth taking a look at, I read a line which not only applies directly to thoughts but to the resulting ideological dynasties and physical societies which build upon the thoughts of man.
The last line of the piece reads:
“every problem is only a temporary illusion. They may have a cause, a beginning, but they also have an end. They are all temporary and it is not to our advantage to get so wrapped up in the illusion or temporary nature that we forget the real goal of life, which is to focus on our spiritual progress.”
Focusing on our “Spiritual Progress” may seem a vague and ambiguous term to many of us. Or worse yet, we may “think” we know what it means. Jesus warned the Nephites against this mental stumbling block when speaking about the failure of those at Jerusalem to grasp what He was saying to them. Jesus said,“And they understood me not, for they supposed…” (3Nephi 15:22) To suppose (sub-pose) means literally to “put under” and in our supposition (sub-position), we end up “trampling UNDER foot” the “things of God” or in this case the thoughts of God.
“For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even THE VERY GOD OF ISRAEL do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.” 1 Nephi 19:17
So we should stand under, not put under. True UNDER-standing stems from a man standing UNDER his God. One good example of the Latter-Day Gentile’s arrogance in ignorance is the commonly quoted but not commonly understood scripture, Mosiah 3:19 –“ For the natural man is an enemy to God.” The scripture states clearly that this has been the case only since The Fall, prior to which, man enjoyed an intimate and proper connection to “Nature”. Yet in pride, in our minds, we imagine that modern man has somehow seen “progress” since The Fall of Adam. The modern man, who has not been redeemed from the effects of The Fall then, is an enemy to God. Our supposition is worse than the so-called superstition of peoples across the earth who we would label as primitive. Talking about knowing is not the same as knowing, in fact it is blasphemy. The One True and Living God is not glorified nor does He delight in the bearing of testi-phonies.
Con-formity to externally enforced rules and regulations is a hindrance to the establishment of Zion. This conflict with our outer Nature (Environment) is unnecessary. The struggle with our own inner nature is most debilitating. To deny our inner nature ironically keeps us locked in struggle with the flesh when Paul specifically explained that we “Struggle NOT against flesh and blood” least of all our own. In BRIGHAM – THE BUILDER & THE BUTCHER Pt. 2, I paraphrased several translations of Paul’s words to give us a fuller understanding of just what it is that we are to be fighting against.
“We feel the kingdom of God within us and we know if we stand in its way then we will be swept aside in the destruction……We DO fight against the rulers, against the authorities, even general authorities, against the powers, the cosmic powers over this darkness presently filling the world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, yea the spiritual wickedness in high places. Those “high places” are first and foremost in our own heads atop our bodies.”
This silly double minded-state and the resulting state of being alternate between delusional and depressing and testify of a fallen nature. We are at war with the God of Nature (both inner and outer). Lets call it what it is; a lack of faith and a rebellion against God. To rebel means to wage war again. Our fallen senses have cut themselves off from the presence of the Lord and still suppose that they know how to interpret their surroundings better. When King Benjamin says that “The natural man is an enemy to God” he is not talking about people who enjoy camping or being in ‘NATURE’. Nor is he saying anything of those who follow their NATURAL inclination to “multiply and replenish the earth”. Other passages in the Book of Mormon are very clear on the effects of The Fall, which King Benjamin cites as the point where the problem began. In speaking of The Fall, Alma says:
“Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare” Alma 42:10
When Alma says ‘sensual’ he does not mean ‘sexy’ or even ‘sexual’, as our modern minds would interpret it. It was God who made us to be sexual, or life giving beings. No, he means simply that we are controlled by the carnal senses. We trust the OUTER senses OVER the INNER sense and have therefore fallen out of touch with the reality of our mission. Our mission to be stewards over the outer nature and establish Heaven ON Earth.
Once again, we have succeeded in turning the natural order on its head. Reversing the positions of Heaven and Earth does not establish Zion, except maybe as an illusion in our own minds. But we deceive ourselves when we set our thoughts higher than His thoughts. We must do as the scripture advises, put off the natural man and become saints through the at-one-ment of Christ. If our inner and outer natures are not AT ONE with each other, then we will forever be AT ODDS with ourselves. We will be enemies to God. In our double-minded teetering between inner and outer nature, the outer seems to OVERtake us most of the time. This is why, while Adam and Eve were redeemed from The Fall (in this life!) the Pearl of Great Price testifies that we, their children, “loved Satan more than God” and “BEGAN from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish.” But remember, that which has a BEGINNING has an end.
Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” We all like the sound of that but do we realize the possibilities? Do we understand how to establish Zion? I would suggest that anyone interested in not skipping steps and letting Zion ‘BEgin’ with themselves, read Moses 5:9-13 and also D&C 29:31-34. It may be helpful for our confused minds to view the simple yet seemingly perplexing flow of ETERNITY in a linear and even HIStorical TIME frame. Then we can understand how the Kingdom of God is not something we need to or can construct with concepts which originate with the philosophies of men. It is something that IS and always has been, something which, in truth, we previously had. We need only then remember, regain and retain it.
“The Kingdom of God is within you.” said Jesus. So learning what the outer nature of life has to teach us we can clearly see that if Jesus is right and Zion is within us, then it must be stuck. Looking at and admitting the severity of our case of spiritual congestion is the proper place to focus our attention, awareness and effort, so that we may achieve life-sustaining, spiritual circulation through the Blood Flow of the Lamb. When we feel both our inner and outer natures come together, this COMMON ground establishes a mini Zion and a sense of expansiveness comes over us. Zion is the most natural thing ever!
So lets revisit that quote from the piece posted by Stephen Knapp …
“every problem is only a temporary (carnal) illusion. They may have a cause, a beginning, but they also have an end. They are all temporary (non-eternal) and it is not to our advantage to get so wrapped up in the illusion or temporary (fallen) nature that we forget the real (royal) goal of Life, which is to focus on our spiritual progress. (advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven onto Earth)”
Our minds need not be troubled and our thinking is not an obstacle when put in its proper place, beneath God’s thinking. Our Left Brain/Minds are to serve a holy purpose in helping us to focus on “The Mark”. Then thought will become a laser beam directing the Powers of Heaven with enough intensity to melt glaciers and send waters rushing down as the 12 tribes are literally gathered after the prerequisite gathering of our scattered thoughts. Here is something to THINK on. A lengthier and therefore less likely to be used on bumper stickers but none the less beautiful quote from Gandhi says:
“When I despair, I *remember* that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a *time* they can *seem* invincible, but in the end they always *fall*. THINK of it —– ALWAYS.”